Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Listen to health experts

Filed on November 2, 2020

The coronavirus has humbled and humiliated the most powerful country in the world, and if the warning of Dr Anthony Fauci, the American infectious disease expert, is not heeded, the US could be in for a tougher ride ahead — much like places where the leadership or the government is in a denial or simply waiting to profiteer from a vaccine. It is understandably hard for health experts to side with President Donald Trump, who has shown little respect to the advice of following basic safety protocol like wearing masks and washing hands.

So little is being asked for so much benefit, and yet the virus is spreading as some governments are unwilling or unable to deliver this message to the masses. This doesn’t bode well for anyone, for this pandemic won’t be the last. A report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services warns that pandemics are becoming more frequent. And unless we learn to handle them differently, viral infections will spread faster, kill more people, and do more damage to the global economy. Birds and mammals are host to millions of yet-to-be discovered viruses. We can learn to shift from reactive pandemic responses to approaches that reduce the risk of future outbreaks. But that will need world leaders such as Trump to do what the health experts say is right, not what their business sense dictates.

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